Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Benefits Mood, Sleep & More

I’m sure you’ve heard bioidentical hormone replacement therapy benefits your mind and body; bringing zest and vitality back into your life. But, what does that mean exactly? It can be difficult to invest your hard-earned money in hormone replacement therapy if you don’t have a full understanding of what it is, how it works, and if it’s right for you.

That’s okay — this topic is our specialty! First, here’s the quick and dirty.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) uses hormones to relieve symptoms related to an imbalance of hormones or a decline in hormone production (due to aging). Usually, those hormones are related to reproduction and youth, like estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and adrenal.

There are different forms of hormone replacement therapy, including pills, injections, gels, skin patches, and creams. Mostly, it’s based on your preference, but a trained physician will also consider your health and symptoms, plus the efficacy of each form.

But, in truth, it boils down to this: synthetic vs. bioidentical.

In this post, we’ll explain what makes bioidentical hormone therapy safer and more effective. And share all the benefits you can expect from this type of treatment. Once you’re armed with the right knowledge, it’ll be easier for you to make a decision that’s right for your health.

Synthetic vs. Bioidentical Hormones

Bioidentical hormones are made from soy and yams. They have the same molecular structure as your body’s natural hormones.

When introduced to the system, your body recognizes bioidentical hormones and can use them just as well as the ones you produce naturally. The correct messages are sent to support the body’s functions and tissues, and you experience very minimal side effects. If you are experiencing side effects, it can be as easy as talking to your doctor about changing the dosage.

On the other hand, synthetic hormones are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and imitate hormones. Maybe you’ve heard of brands like EstraTest, PremPro, Premarin, and Provera? Those are all synthetic.

Synthetic hormones offer a partial, temporary fix for your symptoms. And, they often send the wrong message (or none at all) to certain parts of your body; creating the potential for serious health issues and side effects. For example:

  • increased risk of cervical and breast cancers
  • increased risk of stroke and heart attack
  • migraines
  • high blood pressure
  • loss of bone density
  • increased risk of blood clotting
  • While synthetic hormones are prescribed in the dosages produced by manufacturers, bioidentical hormones can be compounded and given in the exact dose your body needs.

    The Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

    Hormonal changes can wreak havoc on your body. Perimenopause, menopause, and andropause often cause physical, mental, and sexual health issues.

    Following a specific laboratory testing, your doctor can determine if bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is right for you. Sometimes, a lifestyle change is all you need to feel better and more energized.

    But, if you’re approved for BHRT, you may experience some of the following benefits:

  • Better maintenance of muscle mass and strength
  • Improved sleep
  • Decreased hot flashes and night sweats
  • Better mood, concentration, and memory
  • Reduced risk of depression
  • Reduced risk of osteoporosis and improved bone density
  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Reduced risk of endometrial and breast cancer
  • Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Improved libido
  • Reduced incidence of vaginal dryness
  • Want to learn more about hormone replacement therapy plans and how the testing process works? We have a few more articles you can check out:

    3 Benefits of a Hormone Therapy Plan Designed for You
    A Quick Guide to How Your Hormone Levels are Tested
    6 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Hormone Therapy Physician

    Have more questions? That’s okay! We offer consultations for new patients. Just head over to our contact page to schedule a time that’s convenient for you!

    Low Testosterone: Here’s What Can Cause it and What to Do

    Recently, the Endocrine Society issued an updated clinical practice guideline on testosterone therapy in men with hypogonadism. Awareness and attention to men’s health issues have been growing rapidly, but surveys say men are being prescribed testosterone hormone treatment without an appropriate diagnostic workup or monitoring plan.

    The Endocrine Society is hoping to address issues, including:

    • Avoiding testing and treating healthy men
    • Individualizing treatments
    • Increasing lab accuracy

    These guidelines ring very true at our clinic — it’s how we’ve always done things. We start with a long, initial consult to dive into your medical history. Because, if what we depended on was just the lab work, you’d be in and out the door in five minutes. But, that’s not how we care for our patients.

    You can read more about our customized hormone therapy plans here and how we treat the whole person here.

    Today, what we really want to focus on is the importance of knowing your testosterone levels and taking time to make a decision that’s right for you.

    Why You Should Know Your Testosterone Levels

    Low T has been associated with diabetes, high cholesterol, excess weight, and other metabolic syndromes. It’s unclear if those conditions cause low T or if low T contributes to those conditions (chicken before the egg dilemma).

    When your body is fighting off a chronic health issue or infection, it may simply put less effort into testosterone production. But, because we don’t know if it’s the cause or side effect, it’s crucial to know your numbers.

    When other health conditions are at play, maybe low testosterone doesn’t sound like a significant risk to you? But, it could contribute to poor long-term health.

    Not to mention, low testosterone can affect your:

    • Sex drive
    • Sperm production
    • Muscle strength
    • Fat distribution
    • Fat density
    • Red blood cell production

    What Can Cause Low Testosterone

    You may experience a drop in testosterone for a few different reasons, including an injury to your testes, a tumor on a hormone-producing gland, stress, or medications like corticosteroids.

    However, testosterone levels also just fluctuate naturally. They peak around 8 am and decrease throughout the day with the lowest levels being around 8 pm.

    Several things can nudge your levels in either direction. For example, a high-intensity workout can increase testosterone. But tough exercise (coupled with lack of sleep and nutrition) can significantly drop levels. And men who are 40 years and younger will experience more substantial climbs and drops.

    How to Prevent Low Testosterone

    You can make positive lifestyle changes, including:

    • Healthy diet
    • Exercise
    • Adequate sleep
    • Stop smoking
    • Manage stress
    • Limit alcohol
    • Follow your doctor’s advice and management plan

    But, do you need a testosterone therapy plan?

    Maybe not. In young men, testosterone therapy can prevent natural production from returning. Once you’re on it, you can’t get off it. It may affect your sperm production too. So, there are other ways to treat low T (including the lifestyle changes mentioned above) that won’t decrease your natural ability. Consult your doctor to learn more about those options.

    There’s no urgency when deciding if you need treatment. And there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. We encourage all our patients to book a one-on-one consultation, research the facts, and think about it.

    Understanding what’s going on with the physiological processes is important. It can help you make an informed, careful decision.

    If you decide testosterone therapy is right for you, follow up with your blood work and keep track of your symptoms. Do you feel better? Do you feel worse? Are you noticing any unusual side effects? Is it helping? Instead of relying on the numbers, check in with your body too.

    Have more questions? Or want to know your options? Book your one-on-one consultation today.

    Why Your Skin Care Products Can Cause a Hormone Imbalance (and a book for your teenage daughter)

    Choosing skin care products is difficult enough. Find your skin type. Research popular skin care lines. Start (and stick to) a daily routine.

    Add interpreting product labels, and you might as well throw in the makeup wipes.

    We get it. We’re all trying to slow down the aging process, let alone find a safe, miracle product to do it.

    Research on toxins and harmful chemicals in everyday products has come a long way. In fact, the European Union Cosmetics Regulation has banned over 1300 substances from use in cosmetics. But, by comparison, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned 11.

    Nope. That wasn’t a typo. It isn’t clear why so many harmful ingredients are permitted in U.S. products. However, we know the FDA does have little control and power in the cosmetics industry.

    But, let’s back up a second. And lather on a foundation so you know why you should avoid harmful chemicals in your skin care products.

    First, there are two types of aging: intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic aging is from ultraviolet radiation, lifestyle, and pollution. Mostly controllable. Intrinsic aging is caused by your biological clock — genetic mutations, increased inflammatory signals, decreased lipid production and hormone levels. Sometimes controllable.

    The endocrine system is one of the most important factors in aging. It produces and regulates hormones, chemical messengers in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and thyroid glands.

    Hormones control or regulate many biological processes, including blood sugar control, the differentiation, growth, and function of reproductive organs, and body growth and energy production.

    Returning to those toxins banned in the E.U. (but not the U.S.).Those include lead, phthalates, formaldehyde, parabens, and triclosan. These are endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). They interfere with the production, transport, breakdown, binding, and elimination of your hormones.

    This interference could be linked to infertility, lowered sperm counts, obesity, diabetes, thyroid imbalance, and certain types of cancers.

    While skin products are topical, your skin has pores and is highly absorbent. The product leaches into the lower layers of your skin and makes its way into your bloodstream. Changes may occur inside that cause distress and abnormality in your endocrine system.

    A subcategory of EDCs is xenoestrogens. When they get inside our body, they can mimic natural hormones and increase the total amount of estrogen, causing estrogen dominance. They aren’t biodegradable and can be stored in your fat cells.

    Remember that as estrogen fades, your skin produces less collagen and elastin. It gets thinner, drier, and more wrinkled. That’s why most people turn to anti-aging skin creams which contain xenoestrogens.

    Because they can partially bind to estrogen receptors, xenoestrogens work as anti-aging agents. But, they bind incompletely, which may be part of the danger. The incomplete binding may activate the receptor to do something harmful, rather than beneficial.

    Spectacular Skin in Memphis, TN is owned by a licensed medical aesthetician, Teri Lewis. She’s adamant about using products that have a natural base and don’t contain chemically augmenting ingredients.

    “It’s a catch-22, the products that work best are hormone-disrupting,” says Teri Lewis, “But, look for the company that has the least amount of additives and a lot more natural ingredients.”

    Since there are concerns about the link between EDC’s and reproductive cancers in women, a smarter choice is to use a compound with proven, safer ingredients.

    Lewis recommends checking your skincare product ingredients using The Environmental Working Group’s website, which rates personal care products based on ingredients and chemical safety.

    “[Choosing skincare products] is not something you should read about and pick yourself,” advises Teri, “Consult with someone who knows what they’re doing. If you’re having skin and hormone problems, you need to be seen by a professional.”

    Here are some other ways you can avoid harmful toxins in your skin care products:

  • Eat a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon and nuts)
  • Exfoliate for cell renewal
  • Avoid creams with estrogenic ingredients, such as parabens.
  • Minimize your use of nail polish and nail polish removers
  • Use naturally based fragrances, such as essential oils
  • Use chemical free soaps
  • Read the labels on all your products
  • Book Recommendation from Dr. Heather Pearson Chauhan (to help Your Young Daughters/Granddaughters):

    There’s a book called, The New Puberty: How to Navigate Early Development in Today’s Girls written by Louise Greenspan, MD, and Julianna Deardorff, Ph.D. It explains the potential causes and consequences of early puberty in girls. Part of that discussion has to do with sugar and weight gain, but it’s also due to hormone-mimicking chemicals in our household products.

    How to Manage Your Medication, Rather Than Miss It

    How hard could it be to manage your medication? You fill the prescription, read the instructions, and place the bottles in your medicine cabinet.

    Sure, that part is child’s play, but remembering to take those pills, following the instructions every day, and keeping an eye out for adverse interactions is difficult.

    As personal care physicians, we’ve realized there are three types of patients:

  • Those who fill their prescriptions and use them as bathroom decor
  • Those who take their prescriptions diligently…for about a week
  • Those who manage their prescriptions well and don’t forget to floss either
  • If you’re the third person, pat yourself on the back, and move along to one of our other blog posts. Like this one on balancing your hormones naturally.

    But, if you’re here, it’s likely you fall into the first or second category. Don’t worry — most people do!

    In fact, we aren’t perfect either. Yet, we do have a few tips when it comes to organizing and managing your medication, vitamins, and supplements.

    Use a Pill Organizer, Like this One

    Hear us out. We’re big fans of the old lady pillbox. Pillboxes help you take medication every day, even when you’re rushing out the door or on vacation in the Galapagos islands.

    Lucky for you, we’ve found a stylish, discrete, and tech-savvy pillbox.

    The Sagely Smart Weekly Pill Organizer has seven containers which sit on a magnetic tray. The dispensers are large enough to hold fish oil or vitamin D supplements. It’s easy to open, ‘pleasing to the eye,’ and has AM/PM dispensers. Each container is detachable from the tray, so you can tuck it in your purse or pocket.

    You can also download the free reminder app. You type in your medications, set a reminder, and a notification pops up on your phone when it’s time to take your pills. No excuses, right?

    Create a Schedule and Reward Yourself for Sticking to It

    Speaking of reminders — the instructions wrapped around the bottle aren’t suggestions.

    Take it from us. We write prescriptions for natural progesterone frequently and advise our patients to take it at bedtime. But, often, the patient pops the pill in the morning (when they’re more likely to remember).

    While the intention is admirable, the execution leaves them feeling sleepy all day long.

    Timing is important. Sit down with your medication and create a schedule based on the instructions. Set reminders or alarms on your phone (for every day), so you don’t forget.

    Or try setting some “not until” parameters. For example, you’re not allowed to brush your teeth until you take your statin drug. Choose a method (or tasty reward) that’ll work best for you!

    Fill All Your Prescriptions at One Pharmacy

    If you’re taking several prescriptions, we understand the need to hunt down savings. But, there are risks involved when you fill one prescription at CVS and another at Kroger.

    When you go to one location, the pharmacist is aware of all the medications you take. He or she can inform you about potential drug interactions. If you fill your prescriptions at different pharmacies, it may be overlooked.

    They’ll also review the instructions with you so you can stick to that schedule we talked about earlier.

    Be Your Best Advocate and Make Your List

    Of course, your doctors and pharmacists all have your best interest at heart. But you know your body better, and need to play an active role in your healthcare.

    Create a list of all the medications you take. The record will speak for you in case you can’t. Plus, it can be hard to remember everything!

    WebMD has a drug interaction tracker. You enter the names of all your medications, vitamins, and supplements. It will tell you if there’s any overlap, and you can discuss with your doctor whether any interactions are a significant concern or not.

    These are a few best practices to manage your medication, supplements, and vitamins.

    Use a pillbox to get organized and keep your medicine at top-of-mind. Take time to create a list of your medication, the instructions, and if there are any potential drug interactions. Then, create a schedule and stick to it!

    Did we miss a tip? Share how you manage your medication below!

    Do You Feel Off? Here’s the Secret to Balancing Your Hormones Naturally

    How many hours of sleep do you get at night?

    Statistics report 36.7% of adults in Tennessee sleep less than seven hours in a 24-hour period. Guidelines say you need seven hours or more for optimal health.

    If you want to balance your hormones naturally, you need quality sleep.

    Take a second to think about your nightly routine.

    Do you lie in bed reading articles on your phone? Or watch TV until you doze off? Do you wake up multiple times throughout the night?

    We can see you typing now…

    But, Fitbit said I slept eight hours!

    Sure, you might be lying in bed for an appropriate amount of time, but you may not be getting quality sleep.

    The National Sleep Foundation said the key determinants of quality sleep are:

  • Sleeping at least 85 percent of the total time you’re in bed
  • Falling asleep in 30 minutes or less
  • Waking up no more than once per night
  • Being awake for 20 minutes or less after you initially fall asleep
  • How does your sleep stack up?

    When your body is well-rested, it produces more growth hormones, and stress hormones are metabolized. You lower your blood sugar and decrease cravings.

    On the other side of the pillow, sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and depression.

    Let’s add menopause and andropause to the pot.

    Hormone imbalances cause weight gain, hair loss, depression, anxiety, hot flashes, low libido, and a general feeling of unwellness.

    Abracadabra, you’re now a hermit.

    When you don’t feel well, it’s easy to close the blinds and hide under the covers. You miss out on living life because you feel drained, frumpy, irritable, and off.

    We wish there were a counterspell to help people naturally produce more estrogen or testosterone.

    But, despite our best efforts or intentions, we don’t get to control the aging process that comes with being human (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy does slow it down though).

    However, you can maximize other things to help minimize the symptoms related to the drop in hormones.

    And that starts with quality sleep.

    Here’s something else to consider.

    We see patients who make the mistake of relying on medication, such as Ambien, to get some shut-eye.

    But taking sleep medication is a short-lived strategy with a long list of bad side effects, from drowsiness and headaches to memory loss and diarrhea.

    So, here’s what you need to do to sleep well, reclaim your energy, and balance your hormones naturally.

    1. Eat a high-protein breakfast in the morning.
    2. Limit your coffee intake to one cup per day (and no caffeine 6 hours or less before bedtime).
    3. Take a magnesium supplement to relieve insomnia.
    4. Stay hydrated throughout the day.
    5. Stop eating three hours before bedtime.
    6. Pick a bedtime, and stick to it!
    7. Skip sleep medication, but, if you need a little assist, try melatonin.
    8. Meditate — it can be as easy as focusing on your breath for five minutes.
    9. Establish a ‘No Pet’ rule for your bed.
    10. Turn off night lights, TVs, and lamps. Immerse yourself in complete darkness.
    11. Keep electronic devices out of the bedroom.
    12. If you like to read before bed, use a print book or an e-reader that doesn’t emit light.
    13. Treat your bedroom as a sanctuary for only sleep and sex.

    Your body functions better when you get quality sleep.

    But, every body is different. People who have a chronic illness, are stressed, or have a history of depression or anxiety may be at more risk for poor sleep. Poor sleep could also be a sign of a medical condition.

    Talking with your doctor or a hormone specialist is the best first step you can take. Then, consider what your habits are each night. How can you improve your chances of falling asleep quickly and staying asleep until morning?

    To balance your hormones naturally, you’ll need a little knowledge and lots of discipline.

    Was there something on this list you could change today to get better sleep?

    Are You Taking Statin Drugs? If So, You Need this Supplement

    You’re home from the doctor; a packet of information in one hand and a prescription bottle in the other.

    You’re on strict orders to lower your fat and carbohydrate intake. Plus, add exercise to your daily routine.

    We’re sorry to say; you’re not done yet.

    If your primary care doctor prescribed a statin drug, such as Lipitor®, Zocor®, or the like, you need to check your coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) levels.

    While your body will produce less CoQ10 as you age, you’re at a higher risk of depletion when you take statin drugs.

    When this depletion occurs, the side effects of statin drugs can increase.

    Those side effects include:

  • muscle pain
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • liver and kidney damage
  • increased blood sugar levels
  • Your body makes CoQ10 naturally. In short, it’s the Energizer bunny to your cells.

    Your cells need the energy to repair, build, and fight off intrusion. On any given day, muscle fibers break down and rebuild to get stronger. Old cells are shuffled out the door, and new cells move in.

    But, when your CoQ10 levels go down, the whole system begins to collapse.

    You’ll notice when you’re in short supply of CoQ10. It’ll affect your mobility — your knees might collapse, or you might experience joint pain.

    To replenish CoQ10, you can try adding oily fish and organ meats (like beef liver) to your diet. Or, you can take a supplement.

    CoQ10 is readily available. We won’t go into how to choose a supplement today, but you can read this post for quick tips.

    CoQ10 comes in two forms: ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form, and ubiquinone, the oxidized form.

    Some might argue ubiquinol is a better supplement. Basically, it saves your body one step in the breakdown process. Price wise, there’s no difference. We suggest speaking with your doctor to see which option (and what dosage) would be right for you.

    When you take statin drugs, you’re improving one thing but taking away the benefit of another. But, it’s important not to be leary of taking statin drugs.

    If you add CoQ10, you can protect yourself from the depletion and enjoy the benefit of strong muscles and a healthy heart.

    However, we do recommend seeking more in-depth testing if your primary doctor suggests statin drugs. A cardiologist can perform a higher level of testing to see what would be the best plan for your body — and statin drugs might not be a beneficial option.

    Your physician might also recommend following up with additional blood work. It’s essential you do this, so you know your liver is functioning well.

    Many of our patients book a consultation with us after a physical exam with their primary care doctor. We help people make sense of their lab work and create a customized plan that treats the whole body.

    If you’ve been prescribed statin drugs and are concerned about your CoQ10 levels, schedule a free consultation with us today and we’ll talk to you about the options you have for maintaining quality of life.

    How to Choose Safe Supplements and Vitamins: The Questions to Ask

    Whether you shop at the grocery store, pharmacy, or online, you know too many options aren’t always a good thing.

    Staring at row upon row of vitamins is overwhelming. How do you know which brand to buy? What do the different ingredients mean? And which one contains the correct dosage?

    It’s easy to grab the vitamin bottle that’s on sale and call it a day. But, easy can sometimes mean unsafe. Harmful fillers, additives, and contaminants can block absorption of nutrients, increase cancer risk, and cause allergic reactions.

    In fact, in our last post, we mentioned a patient who was experiencing bladder irritation because of a reaction to the dye in her supplement capsule.

    You can learn more about these harmful ingredients here. Today, we want to focus on helping you choose a safe supplement or vitamin. Read below to discover what questions to ask when searching for a safe, natural brand.

    Narrow Down the List to 3 Smaller Operations

    The work will begin before you create your grocery list.

    Large corporations usually add fillers for easier and faster production. And cheap brands typically mean inexpensive ingredients.

    For example, although two brands contain the same thing — such as cranberry extracts — the reputable companies take the first extraction of the cranberries. The cheap brands get what’s left, which is usually the stem.

    So, skip the bottom of the barrel. And research smaller companies with high standards, good ethics, and an extensive background in herbal medicine.

    Are the products made in the United States? Where are the ingredients sourced? Are they organically and sustainably sourced? Who owns the company? And what are the company’s values?

    In our practice, we give our patients two to three reputable brands to choose from, so they can buy one that best fits their budget.

    Read the Labels

    A simple task but rarely done. You won’t know what’s in your supplement unless you read the label.

    Avoid artificial coloring. While it’s tempting to buy the gummy vitamins, unnatural dyes serve no function other than to make your capsule look pretty.

    You should also avoid products that include fillers, such as hydrogenated oils, magnesium stearate, and titanium oxide. They may be listed in small print as “inactive ingredients.”

    While some inactive ingredients are used to hold the supplement together, most of these ingredients are unnecessary and unhealthy.

    If you’re gluten sensitive or have Celiac disease, you’ll also want to investigate whether the supplement or vitamin contains gluten.

    Opt for a Vegetable Casing

    Do you take medicine for acid reflux? If you do, you know it decreases the acid in your stomach. The vitamin casings are meant to dissolve in stomach acid. So, if you’re reducing the amount of acid in your stomach, the casing will go straight through you and could cause stomach distress.

    When possible, choose a supplement or vitamin with a vegetable casing that can easily break down. It’s safe, natural, and often tasteless.

    In less than an hour, you could prevent unnecessary medical problems by researching reputable companies, reading labels, and choosing a natural alternative to supplements and vitamins. If you want to learn more about natural ways to improve your life, you can read about our bioidentical hormones here.

    Have a friend who may be experiencing an adverse reaction from cheap vitamins? Share this post with them!

    What’s the Difference Between a Personal Care and Primary Care Physician?

    When you’re feeling fatigued, distracted, or depressed, who do you go to for a solution?

    A nurse practitioner? Your primary care physician? A gynecologist or urologist?

    Unfortunately, when it comes to your health, knowing where to go isn’t always clear-cut.

    In fact, one of our most frequently asked questions is

    “What’s the difference between a primary care physician and you?”

    The short answer is with personalized care, you get:

  • A team of professionals who specialize in elder care, urology, and gynecology in a private, unhurried office setting.
  • But the real benefits go beyond the waiting room. And while we aren’t here to replace your primary care doctor, we offer a different look at the bigger picture.

    Below are some of the key (and often unknown) differences between seeking care from a primary care physician and a personal care physician.

    You get solutions that don’t require a prescription pad (or invasive procedures)

    Many of our patients visit us after seeing their primary care doctor, gynecologist, or urologist. Usually, it’s because they’ve received lab work but can’t make sense of the results.

    Their doctor may sign them off with a clean bill of health or write a prescription — either way; there isn’t a clear understanding of why.

    So, here’s how we approach it — we examine the lab work, spend time getting to know, and then walk you through the numbers. For example, why is your vitamin D low? Is the deficiency connected to current medications or a pre-existing disease?

    Why is it important to raise it? How can we do that without changing your current medication or adding more pills to the mix?

    Our goal, in the long-term, is to help you get off medication. We explore alternative options, such as supplements, dietary changes, and exercise.

    Plus, the better you understand what’s going on with you, the more likely you are to participate in improving your health.

    You have time to ask questions and get answers

    How often do you sit in a waiting room for 30 minutes? An hour? Maybe longer? All to see the doctor for a fleeting moment?

    Nothing is more frustrating than arriving to your appointment armed with questions/concerns — just to be hurried out the door.

    Healthcare is our expertise, but listening is our priority. Our days are scheduled to give personalized, quality time to each patient.

    For example, one of our patients was experiencing bladder irritation. She was visiting her doctor for solutions and taking supplements. But nothing was changing. During our consultation, we evaluated every possible cause — from her diet to her bathroom habits.

    By taking the time to investigate the subtle details of her health and lifestyle, we discovered the issue was blue dye in her supplement capsule. Then, we found a non-medicative solution — that’s easily implemented. Our patient now avoids blue dye in her food and supplements.

    You get customized weight management and nutrition plans

    Mythbuster: Not all of our patients need hormone replacement therapy.

    In fact, we may only see you one time. Even if you’re experiencing signs of menopause or andropause, it may not be time to treat your hormones.

    Maybe in ten years, but we may see other areas that can be improved first. Like your sleep, mood swings, weight gain, or deficiencies. We’ll make suggestions on your health, the type of exercise your body needs, and your diet.

    This approach is unique to what we do. We have the training and experience to understand what you’re saying and how it affects your body. We focus on you and not whatever shot or pill is trending.

    Our goal is to work with patients, so they can become a whole person, real person, and vital person. What other questions do you have about personal care? Ask us on Facebook or email us!

    How a Healthy Relationship with Your Spouse Can Reduce the Risk of Dementia

    A recent study shows positive support from your spouse, partner, or close family member can reduce your risk of dementia. Maybe even up to 17 percent.

    Dementia is both well-known and puzzling. It can be caused when the brain is damaged by Alzheimer’s disease or by a series of strokes.

    The symptoms start off minor, but they can become severe and wreak havoc on your daily life.

    Most dementia cannot be cured. But treatments, such as advice, support, therapy, and activities provide a better quality of life.

    While a healthy marriage probably won’t prevent dementia, it can help. Specifically, relationships that are reliable, approachable, and understanding are what reduces your risk.

    And a relationship that’s all those things (and more) starts with communicating, better.

    Don’t click back to Facebook just yet! Because, whether you’ve been married for 5, 15, or 30 years, the way you communicate with your spouse can always be improved. Here are a few tips you can try today.

    Listen…over and over again

    Do you feel bored when your husband gives you a play-by-play of his golf game that day? Or when your wife goes on (and on) about a project she’s tackling at work?

    You might know all the details–or think it’s the same old story in a different package–but showing interest in your partner’s day is a way of getting closer. While it might not (directly) benefit you, it does help your spouse.

    You’re sharing time, space, and love. Even if you know the answer, ask questions to further the conversation or clarify a specific detail. “Wait. Could you show me the new technique you used?”

    If you need to interrupt, ask permission first, “Sorry. Can I ask you a question about your client real quick?”

    Even a simple task like creating a grocery list together can strengthen your communication and produce feelings of well-being.

    Try mirroring

    If you feel a disagreement coming on, apply the “mirroring” technique.

    Listen to your partner’s side of the argument. Then, start with the words, “So what I think I hear you say is….”. Repeat what the other person said (or what you heard in your own words).

    Often what you heard is not what was meant–especially in text.

    Mirroring lets the speaker know if you heard them correctly or if they didn’t communicate their meaning with clarity. If it was wrong, give them an opportunity to re-explain. You can learn more about mirroring here. But, don’t overuse this technique as it can be disruptive and tiring.

    Speak with their love language

    Gary Chapman came up with the idea that men and women have five love languages: affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, acts of service, and physical touch. It’s important to know which language speaks to you and your partner.

    Not sure what yours is? Pour a glass of wine (or a cup of tea) for you and your spouse. Then, you can both take the test here.

    Not feeling so sharp this week? Read our tips on how to boost your memory in this blog post.

    4 Ways to Protect Your Skin from Menopause

    Skin care commercials can cause a lot of eye-rolling.

    An older woman with perfectly-photoshopped skin uses a facial cream which gives her more perfectly-photoshopped skin. Miracle in a jar?

    Doubt it. And we know you do too.

    So, what can you do to protect your skin from the frustrating effects of menopause, like wrinkling, drying, breakouts, and itching?

    Fortunately, perimenopause and menopause happen slowly over time, which means you don’t have to grab the first product off the shelf. You can get to know your skin (better) and find a routine that works for you.

    Grow-Up Your Skincare Routine

    How long has it been since you updated your skin care routine? If feathered bangs and tanning oil ring a bell, then it might be time to schedule a skin care consultation.

    What worked for your skin at 15, 25, 35, and even 45 won’t cut it now that you’re going through menopause. Your estrogen levels have dropped which causes collagen, an essential protein in skin, to decrease too. Not to mention the loss of fat in your face that causes wrinkles.

    We suggest skipping the guesswork and DIY tricks. Talk to a dermatologist to get customized recommendations and stay one step ahead of menopause.

    Care for Your Whole Body (Not Just Your Face)

    Your face isn’t the only part of your body that experiences changes. But, we probably don’t have to tell you twice.

    Even if you keep your legs, thighs, and arms covered like it’s the dead of winter, your body needs some TLC. Drink eight glasses of water per day to flush your system. And moisturize every morning after showering to reclaim glow and counteract dryness.

    You can also take Omega-3 fish oil supplements to lessen the impact of dryness.

    Keep Your Skin Firm

    As opposed to loosey-goosey, right? Of course, you want tight, youthful looking skin! But achieving this can seem daunting.

    Don’t resign yourself just yet. Try using a glycolic acid moisturizer along with exfoliation to slough off age spots and rough skin. Be careful as glycolic can be irritating (which is why speaking with a dermatologist is important).

    Second, invest in collagen-building cream to improve thickness and elasticity. You should also avoid collagen killers, like smoking, stress, poor hydration, and poor nutrition. And of course, we recommend hormone replacement therapy to help with declining skin elasticity.

    Protect Your Skin from the Sun

    Most importantly, retire that tanning oil and give SPF a job. Decreasing your exposure to the sun will not only reduce your chances of skin cancer but fortify your skin against further signs of aging. For optimal protection, try SPF 30 UVA/UVB.

    Want the perfect solution to your skincare routine? Everyone you talk to will have a different opinion of what works and what doesn’t. There isn’t a wrong or right answer, but you should consider your overall health, skin type, lifestyle, and family history. And getting a personalized, custom recommendation from a healthcare professional will put you one step closer to a routine that fits you.